[mythtv-users] something's missing

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Wed Feb 24 22:18:02 UTC 2010

On 02/23/2010 11:20 PM, sharifah ummu kulthum wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 6:58 AM, David Watkins <watkinshome at gmail.com
> <mailto:watkinshome at gmail.com>> wrote:
>      > The output will show you what channels are detected and you
>     should be able
>      > to match that with your local environment re missing/extra channels.
>      > Then you can test a channel, by tuning to it and capturing output
>     from
>      > /dev/video (or /dev/dvb/frontend...whatever) using cat to a file.
>      > And you then can play that file using mplayer.
>      > (Instructions on the page given above).
>      >
>      >
>      > THEN, and ONLY THEN can you be assured that scanning in mythtv
>     will actually
>      > work.
>     I believe the OP said they were looking at capturing analogue
>     broadcasts.
>     I seem to recall from my PVR350 days that Mythtv doesn't have an
>     analogue channel scanner (although that may have changed now).
>     I tuned my PVR350 in Mythtv by selecting  European broadcast
>     frequencies and manually entering the channel frequencies, which I
>     found by looking at the channel tuning of my television.  The
>     "frequency" I used was the TV tuning slot number between 1 and 99.
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> Yes, I know that using a listing grabber before I have the list of
> usable channel is working backwards. But I have tried testing the card
> using cat and other tools, eg: mplayer and tvtime. In mpayer, I didn't
> get any channels but there is a sound where it seems like it is
> searching for channels ( you know the sound when the radio reception is
> not that good, yeah, it sounds like that ). But, still I didn't get any
> TV shows as it was really what I'm looking for.
> And really, MythTV does have an analogue signal scanner? Is it true?
> I've never heard of it though. But if it is, my project is a mess and I
> don't know how to continue. This is my class project and it has
> deadline. And I am chasing it. =(
> Anyway, the script of my country's listing grabbers that I talked about
> in the previous post, I can execute it now. No more errors. I've asked
> the python guys. But I don't know how to slot it in inside MythTV.
> And does the sound of 'the not good reception" means that my card
> actually works?

Well it would appear that it is not completely broken at least!

You could try using the kaffeine program. It allows you to control an 
analog card and change channels.

I wonder if you problem is that you are not using the correct frequency 
tables. That is, the table of frequencies which your country uses. There 
are at least 5 different NTSC broadcast tables (plus cable) and a half a 
dozen variants of PAL tables. Malaysia uses PAL?

This has been a long thread, so bear with me if some questions have 
already been answered.
You have installed the firmware and necessary driver?
dmesg should show something about the card/driver being initialized.
Generally, dmesg reports the hardware socket which is created. You 
should see a /dev/video0.

Do you get this sort of output? (I think you have reported this is ok.)

Then install kaffeine, or try MyRTv


I have not tried kaffeine for tuning a tv card but I have used it as a 
substitute for mplayer. MyRTv is a GPL tv player/tuner package. The 
screen shots show that it allows you to enter different PAL types and 
channels. That sounds like it would fit your needs!

Regarding using mythtv, it does have a scanner, but it must be told 
which card you are using to get that correct. You might try selecting 
each and every available type of card listed in the pull-downs for card 
type selection. If the card type is entirely wrong, you will see 
something like 'could not probe inputs'. If it is partially right, it 
might probe, but not scan. Without knowing more about your card, I can't 
help much more.


         Please let me know if anything I say offends you.
          I may wish to offend you again in the future.

          Tux says: "Be regular. Eat cron flakes."

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